I am an Assistant Professor in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington. My research focuses on applying principles from computer science and engineering to create programmable matter at the nanoscale with bio-molecules such as DNA. Prior to UW, I was a Senior Postdoctoral Researcher at Caltech, working with Erik Winfree, a postdoc at Oxford Computer Science with Marta Kwiatkowska and a James Martin Fellow at the Institute for the Future of Computing, Oxford. I received my PhD in Computer Science from UBC in 2013, advised by Anne Condon. Much of my computations now happen in a test tube.
PhD in Computer Science, 2013
University of British Columbia
MSc in Computer Science & Bioinformatics, 2007
Simon Fraser University & CIHR/MSFHR Bioinformatics Training Program for Health Research
BCS in Computer Science, 2005
University of Windsor
This work demonstrates that it’s possible to place large numbers of individual molecules precisely and independently on a surface. The idea was to use a DNA origami shape that always correctly aligns itself to a corresponding shape etched on a surface via lithography. This method for precisely placing and orienting DNA-based molecular devices may make it possible to use these molecular devices to power new kinds of chips that integrate molecular biosensors with optics and electronics for applications such as DNA sequencing or measuring the concentrations of thousands of proteins at once.
Computation can be space-efficient. It can almost always be energy-efficent as well. This book chapter is a friendly introduction to our work and to that of others showing how this is possible in the context of programming chemical reaction networks.
This work experimentally proved that the leakless strand displacement cascades for signal transduction that we previously hypothesized really are fast and robust. The molecular circuit breadboard is building upon this work for implementing arbitrary logic circuits and rate-less chemical reaction networks.
DNA strand displacement systems (DSD systems) hold promise for sophisticated information processing within chemical or biological environments; however, they are capable of spurious displacement events that lead to leak: incorrect signal production. This work proposes a leakless design motif and formally proves that these systems can, in fact, be made arbitrarily robust. As a bonus, robust DSD circuits can be made into fast DSD circuits.